It is with both admiration and humility that we look back upon this year and celebrate the vision, innovation and commitment of our faculty, staff, and collaborators in the pursuit of developing better strategies for assisting communities in crisis. 2014 - 15 signified a year of tremendous challenges in the humanitarian sector and tremendous accomplishments of our team.
2015 is an important milestone for HHI as we celebrate our 10-year anniversary. Building upon a nascent program in humanitarian crisis and human rights developed at Harvard University in 1999, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative was formally established in 2005 as a university-wide academic and research interfaculty initiative. By 2012, HHI would launch the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard as the first multi-disciplinary humanitarian education program in a major university. Looking back over this past decade and the important work that has laid the foundation for our programs today, HHI researchers continue to engage in the questions of greatest relevance to the sector: How can we better understand the needs of communities affected by war and natural disasters? What lessons have been learned from the past and how can we learn better from each other? What evidence do we have of how well programs have worked and can this information be applied to making crisis planning and management better going forward? What is the role of technology and what is society’s ethical obligation in the application of technology in crisis contexts? How can we, as academics, contribute to developing the next generation of leaders in this field? The programs described in the pages that follow attempt to address these questions and provide a window into the future of humanitarian innovation.